Let’s Go Hydro
Let’s Go Hydro is Ireland’s largest aqua park, right on the doorstep of Ivanhoe Hotel. The activity centre is a beautiful and brilliantly designed resort with a relaxing yet enjoyable atmosphere, offering top-quality water sports facilities for all the family to enjoy.
Let’s Go Hydro has everything you need to play and relax. Make a splash at Ireland’s largest inflatable aqua park or enjoy an afternoon at the cable water sports park. The cable systems provide ways to learn and advance in towed water sports like knee boarding and wakeboarding or just have a blast with a friend and try the new tubing activity!
Activities include the floating inflatable Aqua Park, aqua rugby, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, open water swimming cable water sport and forest walks.
Hillsborough Castle & Gardens
Just 20 minutes from Ivanhoe Hotel you can enjoy a 45-minute tour of the elegant Georgian castle, in the charming village of Hillsborough, County Down, following in the footsteps of world leaders, through plush and lovingly restored State Rooms including the Throne Room, State Drawing Room, Lady Grey’s Study, State Dining Room, Red Room and Stair Hall.
There are many layers of stories here, and your guide will share hundreds of years’ worth of tales, about celebrations, entertainment, diplomacy and negotiations. Standing in these rooms, where pivotal decisions have been made, you get a true sense of Hillsborough Castle’s importance.
Outside, you’ll find stunning gardens dating back to the 1760s. There are ornate formal gardens, tranquil woodland, and beautiful meadows. The Walled Garden features crop rotations, an apple orchard and seasonal produce which often finds its way onto the menu at the delicious Hillsborough Castle Café. Here, in the ever-changing and ever-evolving gardens, you get a real sense of new life and new chapters for this important castle.
Newcastle & the Mourne Mountains
The popular coastal town of Newcastle is just 40 minutes drive from the hotel on the A24. Newcastle lies by the Irish Sea at the foot of Slieve Donard, the highest of the Mourne Mountains. The town offers beaches, amusements, forest walks, the world renowned Royal County Down golf courses as well as many other activities for families and friends to enjoy.
Explore a chunk of the Mourne Mountains. The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic mountain range in Northern Ireland, its summits crowned by granite tors. The Mourne upland is dominated by a compact ring of 12 mountains, each rising above 600m, with the highest peak, Slieve Donard, reaching 853m. There are walks and trails to suit walkers or all abilities.
Game of Thrones Locations
Castle Ward is one of the best things to do in Co Down for GOT Fans, located on the foot of Strangford Lough, just 35 minutes from Ivanhoe Hotel. Castle Ward Estate was used extensively during the filming of Game of Thrones and any keen fan will enjoy visiting the site to see the location of Winterfell Castle. Here you will see sprawling medieval walls, an imposing castle tower gate, gorgeous surrounding landscapes, and never-ending views out across the nearby Strangford Lough.
Head for a ramble along the magnificent Murlough Beach, 35 minutes drive from Ivanhoe Hotel. There's no better way to start a morning or round off your day exploring than with a walk along this finely kept beach and sand dunes. It is a 6 km Blue Flag beach that offers walks with incredible views of the Mourne Mountains and on a good day you can spot the Isle of Man. The Dune fields at Murlough are the most extensive example of dune heath in Ireland , with more than 720 species of butterflies and moths calling this home.
Castlewellan Forest Park
Lace up your walking boots and head for a stroll at Castlewellan Forest park, 30 minutes drive from Ivanhoe Hotel. This forest park is a 12 km walking trail that features breath-taking views out towards the Mourne Mountains. You'll also find one of NI most famous lakes, a Victorian Castle and a maze close to the lively village of Castlewellan. This village is filled with quaint little shops and eateries not to mention some wonderful pubs.
Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and Northern Ireland. Titanic Belfast, named the World's Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016, is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.
Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. The self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her.
In order to ensure a safe environment for visitors, Titanic Belfast is required to manage the number of people visiting the museums at any one time. To avoid disappointment and for safety reasons visitors are encouraged to pre-book tickets and timeslots online.
The Ulster Museum is a treasure house of the past and present offering something for art lovers, history buffs, excited children and the simply curious. Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces at the Ulster Museum, Belfast. A world to captivate the curious, this treasure house of the past and present offers something for art lovers, history buffs, excited children and the simply curious. Dive into the discovery zones of art, history and science as the museum’s impressive collections take you across Ireland to all corners of the globe.
In order to ensure a safe environment for visitors, the Ulster Museum is required to manage the number of people visiting the museums at any one time. To avoid disappointment and for safety reasons visitors are encouraged to pre-book tickets and timeslots online https://www.nmni.com/our-museums/ulster-museum
Crumlin Road Gaol
On the 31st March 1996 Crumlin Road Gaol slammed shut its doors for what many thought would be the final time, but, on the 19th November 2012 the chains fell off and HMP Belfast was reborn as a major visitor attraction and conference centre.
Today you can take a guided tour of the prison and hear about the history of the site from when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison.
During the tour of the gaol you will be taken by your tour guide to visit the underground tunnel that used to connect the gaol to the Crumlin Road Courthouse, you will get a chance to sit in the Governor's chair, view all the wings from the circle and of course pay a visit. Check the attractions website for details on opening hours and times https://www.crumlinroadgaol.com/
Home to the Ulster Rugby team the Kingspan Stadium hosts exciting rugby sporting events throughout the year. The stadium is also home to the Nevin Spence Centre and Kingspan Stadium Tour.
As you journey through the history of rugby in Ulster with a self-guided tour of The Nevin Spence Centre, using archive objects, footage and interactives, visitors can discover the roots of Ulster Rugby. Select your dream team, tackle some Ulster players and take on the kicking challenge, as well as learning how technology plays an integral part in the modern professional game.
The stadium tour is an exclusive, behind the scenes experience featuring the changing rooms, tunnel, dugouts and the state of the art world-class training gym. Visitors will get an up-close experience of the hallowed turf were many an Ulster Rugby legend has stepped and the iconic 1926 Memorial Arch.
This is a unique family experience and a must see for visitors to Belfast. For more information visit www.ulsterrugby.com
W5 is Belfast’s award-winning science and discovery centre and provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages. Visitors can immerse themselves in W5’s new technological space ‘AMAZE’, scale the heights on the multi-storey climbing structure ‘Climbit’, meet W5’s humanoid robot ‘Robothespian, plus so much more.
In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and events. Visitors can also enjoy a daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day. W5’s seasonal events are FREE with admission and tickets are valid all day.
Please note, that W5 may have limited opening times due to both the current government Covid-19 government restrictions and ongoing refurbishments. Please check the W5 website for further details. www.w5online.co.uk
Ivanhoe Hotel is ideally located for visitors from further afield, with three airports with driving distance. George Best Belfast City Airport 20 minutes by car. Belfast International Airport 40 minutes by car. Dublin Airport via the M1 is 1hr 45 minutes away with several service points along the way.